One lucky commenter has a chance to win a copy of Blood on Silk and any e-book from her back list. Details are listed at the end of the post.
The Lure of the Vampire
by Marie Treanor
I know I’m in good company here to admit that I’ve always been a big vampire fan. When I was a kid, I used to sit up late with my Dad, watching old Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee films on the television – still love those! I loved reading Dracula too, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, and any other tale of the undead I could lay my hands on, particularly those that portrayed a not-completely-evil side to the creatures of the night. I grew to appreciate the weird sensuality of Dracula and of Anne Rice’s world.
And now I’m rather thrilled to be writing about vampires myself! Of course, vampire stories have come a long way since my adolescence, and the vampire romance is a major phenomena in its own right, with a huge following. Inventing my own undead has got me thinking: just what is it we love so much about vampire heroes? After all, on the face of it, what is there to like? A dead, evil creature who kills humans by biting them like an animal, in order to prolong his own cruel existence? Not so nice. And yet, if we give him a handsome body, a seductive physical attraction that makes the lethal neck-biting sexy, throw in a tragic past and a setting of crumbling grandeur, then we want him to find love and live happily after. Why?
I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, it’s the balance of his “differentness” and his “humanity”. He looks enough like a human male, with all the attraction of superior strength and supernatural gifts, that I long to see what this powerful, evil being would be like if only he was just a little more like us, if he felt a little human emotion.
I must admit, I don’t like my vampires to be complete “good guys”, so in Blood on Silk, my new vampire story (and the start of the trilogy Awakened by Blood!), Saloman, who is accidentally awakened by my heroine, Elizabeth, makes no bones that he’s not only out for revenge and world domination but that he’s going to kill her for the mystical power of her blood. And I thoroughly enjoyed emphasizing his sheer alien-ness, showing that although, being attracted to her, he regrets her forthcoming death, he sees nothing wrong in making love to her before killing her, since it will bring them both pleasure and enhance what’s left of her life!
On the face of it, then, he’s cruel and amoral, at least by human standards, but Elizabeth is aware from the very first of the power of his sexual attraction. She awakened him, and it’s her duty to send him back to hell. But he heightens all her senses, he makes her laugh and teaches her to appreciate life as she never has before; and in spite of herself, he fascinates her, has her striving to understand him even as she tries to buy her own life, and his death, with the gift of her own body.
I’m biased, of course, but I like that conflict J. And I like that despite his single-minded and often cruel pursuit of power, he is capable of love as well as deep sensuality. I like his black humour, his endurance of physical and mental pain, his slightly strange wisdom and the knowledge he’s acquired over the long centuries of his existence – a knowledge that certainly intrigues the historian in Elizabeth! I’m glad, for the sake of all those films and the gothic romances I grew up with, that he awakens in a ruined castle crypt, and that he has a long, turbulent past littered with tragedy, violence, betrayal, lost love, heroism and power.
Saloman’s a big character, and I confess I’m half in love with him myself. I don’t have Elizabeth’s strength; if I were in her shoes, I couldn’t kill him. Could you?
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing stories of romance and fantasy.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Blood on Silk and any e-book from her back list.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
If you were in Elizabeth’s shoes could you kill my vampire hero?
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6. Giveaway ends Wednesday, September 29th at 11:59 PM EST.
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